Thursday, March 13, 2014

Me...whining

I keep meaning to write more often but I have to admit that this winter has been especially hard on me...both physically and emotionally.  The depression sometimes is as debilitating as the fatigue.  And so I withdraw into my shell further and further.  I'm hoping that with the return of the sun and tolerable temperatures, I'll be more excited about life and knitting.

Not that I haven't been knitting.  I've been doing a lot of that...just not a lot of result from it.  I did finish Stephen's sweater and got it out to him yesterday along with some dvds I had that I thought he would like, but I didn't get a picture of it.  I had no place to lay it out to take a picture.  This house is so full of stuff that there are no flat spaces.  So dark that there is no place to take pictures.

Damn, damn, damn depression.

I'm working on two baby blankets...different patterns...trying to use up my stash.  I'm also knitting up a pair of socks for Zach.  Finished his other pair, which he wears a lot.  I'm thinking of frogging his sweater since winter is almost over and hopefully we will both lose weight before next winter.  In which case he'll need a smaller size.  Also started crocheting a purse for myself.  I get so tired of not being able to find a purse I like out there so I'm designing my own.  I thought about lining it with material but I couldn't find any I liked and anyway, material has gotten so expensive I didn't want to bother.  So I crocheted an insert for the purse that will slide into it after I finish up the outside.  Then I'll crochet them together at the top.  I might still line it with material if I can find a remnant that I like.

Won't be long before I can hang clothes out again.  I need to get back to the rigid frugality I used to practice.  Otherwise things will get pretty bleak pretty fast.  I can't count on the overtime regularly.  And those months without it were painful, especially in light of the high heating bills from the sub-zero temps we had this winter.  I don't know what we're going to do with the especially hot summer we're expecting.

Yeah, I know...pretty glum here.  I'm off track with my health as well.  I've regained way too much weight and I've got to start over again.  I couldn't lose weight on 1200 calories and got so tired of being hungry 24/7.  I did find out that lack of iodine in the diet can suppress your metabolism.  I'm pissed that no health professional told me I needed to watch my iodine levels when I gave up salt.  They just kept telling me not to salt my food anymore.  So where was the iodine going to come from?  And why did they just keep telling me to exercise more when I would tell them that I was gaining weight on 1200 calories a day and 40 minutes of exercise?

I got a bit demoralized after all that work, doing things right and still gaining weight.  Plus my cholesterol went up instead of down.  I admit I just fell apart and went back to old habits.  But I can't keep doing that.  I've got to figure out a way to get back on track or I really won't have but a year or so left.  In light of all the facts, it's still hard to feel hungry all the time.  My biological imperative to eat just takes over.

Enough whining.  I've got laundry to do and try to find the dining room floor.  Not to mention all the other cleaning I'm behind on.

Some days I just want to stay in bed, hide from the world and wish someone would take care of me for a change.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Still a knitter even if I'm not much of a blogger

Still here and still knitting.  I finished my older son's sweater and need to get it in the mail to him before the temps go up.  I knitted both sleeves together so they would be the exact same size and then lost one of the sleeves.  Then I lost the sweater.  Then I found the sweater but didn't find the sleeve so I knitted another one.  Got it all sewed on and washed and dried and found the other sleeve.

I blame the car key fairies.

Currently I'm working on two socks and Zach's sweater.  His won't be done before the temps go up so I'm thinking of starting over in a smaller size.  We're going to get busy losing weight and getting healthy so I'm worried that I'll end up with a sweater far too big for him next winter.  On the other hand, that kind of puts pressure on him that would surely backfire. 

Still battling this debilitating fatigue and have gained back a few pounds because I got completely demoralized by my lab results.  I had been eating vegetarian, low fat/low sugar and my triglicerides and cholesterol both went up higher than they were before I started eating healthier.I'm back on track now but I know my labs in a few weeks will be horrendous since I had those few weeks of a meltdown.  It's so frustrating.

We have more cold weather coming in so I'm going to pay the bills today and run the errands so I can stay inside the rest of the week.  Our driveway is still icy in spite of a full bag of salt on it.  The other night, I got back from my mammogram and some shopping and the driveway was a solid sheet of ice.  I barely got the car in but getting the groceries in was even harder as we had to walk down the driveway and across it with bags of groceries.  We ended up wading the bank of snow into the neighbor's driveway, down to the sidewalk and around to our sidewalk.  We had heavy rain the day before and then a freeze.  I am so ready for spring.

Got to get the bills ready and clean up a bit so we can get going soon.  Much more knitting to do today.  And every day.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Apologies

I'm still here but I've been battling post holiday depression and my social anxiety seems to be getting worse.  I can't even bring myself to talk on the phone right now and have pretty much withdrawn from all internet interaction as well.  Aside from some minor facebook responses.

But I'm still knitting. Not as much though.  I'm nearly done with my older son's sweater.  Sewing up the arms and need to attach them to the sweater.  Then in a box and off to South Dakota.  I'll get pictures before I send it off.

The cold, cold weather is back and I hate to go out but I get cabin fever so badly I have to.  I had many medical appointments this month and one more to go next week.  Had my annual eye exam yesterday.  Due to diabetes I'm supposed to do this every year.  The doctor was very thorough examining me and found no diabetes degeneration of the eye.  But there is one eye that has a minute amount of clouding that may or may not be the beginning of a cataract.  They'll keep an eye on it.

Still exercising and still battling my weight.  Still not losing any.  After 6 months of almost exclusively vegetarian eating...hardly any eggs and only a little bit of cheese, my cholesterol went up.  So frustrating.  I just feel like I'm trying to walk up a wall.  I have to go below 1000 calories to lose weight and I can't do that without getting weak and shaky.  I want to scream.

Well, this is as much as I can handle today.  I'm trying to force myself to interact with people more.  I have safe places I can go and interact with people still but my tendency is still to just withdraw and not talk to anyone. 

Off to clean the kitchen as best I can.  I'm also still battling the debilitating fatigue so I work in 10 minute increments.

Stay warm everyone.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Knitting the New Year in

During this brief time away from my blog, I've been doing a lot of knitting.  Unfortunately I've also bought more yarn so I'm not actually making any progress in knitting up my stash.  I didn't buy yarn randomly, but for specific projects...like socks for my dad and hats for a friend. 

I'm working on the sleeves of my older son's sweater and have one sock done our of two pairs for my dad.  I'm getting ready to shut down here and crawl into bed and knit the new year in.  I really know how to celebrate.

I got a beautiful new camera for Christmas so expect pictures as soon as I learn how to use it.  It's like you need to take a course on cameras these days.

It's pretty darned cold today although warmer than yesterday and it's snowing.  I still love to see it snow even if I don't like the limitations it brings.

Have a Happy New Year everyone and enjoy life as much as you can.  I sure plan to.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Time off

So sorry for not posting lately.  I'm going to take some time off from blogging and decide whether I want to continue or not.  I probably will but I need the freedom to think otherwise.  I'll be back after the first of the year.  Have happy holidays, everyone!!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Feeling winter

Still doing a lot of knitting.  Just started a pair of gray socks for my older son.  The yarn is great...subtle shading differences that make it really nice.  He's in a cold climate this year so I'm planning on lots of knitted stuff for him.  A sweater, too, if I can get to it soon enough.

I dug out the winter stuff and can't find a matching pair of gloves or mittens.  I have no idea what happened to them as I kept them in a bag.  Possibly the car-key fairies have stolen them along with Tom's keys again.  He lost them a couple of years ago and we found them a year later in the yard.  This time they have to be in the house somewhere.  I just haven't been able to find them yet.

It's bitterly cold out with temps in the low 20s and a wind chill in the low teens.  Very cold for this time of year.  I've got all the older windows taped up with plastic but I'm thinking the newer windows need it as well.  They've been completely wet with condensation in the mornings.  I'll get to them.  One window at a time, I suppose.

I did finish up the self-striping socks the other night.  I'm keeping those.  I rarely knit pretty socks for myself so I'm keeping this pair.  I might get some Wool ease from JoAnn's to make some more winter socks but we don't need any just yet.  Maybe by February when all my socks are threadbare.  They're a few years' old already so they probably won't last beyond this winter.  I've darned them multiple times.

We had some snow Monday morning but it's melting today in spite of the frigid temps.  The sun is very bright, thankfully and is melting it all off.  I've got to get some ballast for Tom's truck so he can safely drive to work.  The truck is very light in the back and is crap on snow and ice.  I'm going to get some cat litter and bag it up in plastic so it doesn't break open.  This way if he gets stuck, he can use the litter to get out of the snow.

We're doing pretty well with the frugal thing.  I'm only shopping once a week even if we run out of something.  So I'm saving on gas as well as the grocery bill.  I'm thinking of shopping today instead of tomorrow though because I'm not motivated to do much more than knitting today.  I've been doing okay as far as cleaning house.  Since I stopped trying to work on a complete room I'm making more progress.  Just doing a little bit in each room has made more progress. 

Well, I need to go exercise on my stationary bike before we go shopping.  I don't relish getting out in the cold but I'm going to have to get used to it.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Busy winterizing and being frugal

I'm not online much at all these days.  Busy being frugal, winterizing the house and knitting.  Always knitting.  My love/hate relationship with facecrack is still there.  I love it but resent the amount of time it takes to actually read it...not because of facebook, but because it slows my computer down to a crawl.  That's what happens when your 10 year old computer tries to deal with the faster speeds. 

I'm rotating my projects, trying to get some things finished up.  I didn't go to the knit thing at the library but did knit all day at home.  I'm not so much working on projects for the community now as working on projects for us.  I do have a baby blanket on the needles, but now I'm working on my sweater coat, Zach's sweater, socks (always socks) and am thinking of starting to knit up some bags for groceries.  I have some store-bought bags but I have no idea where they are.  They disappeared last time I organized things.  Still, they don't handle heavy things well, being made of paper, after all.  I stopped buying library bags since they only last a couple of weeks before the handle breaks off.  My library visits are never without lots of heavy books, after all.  I have tons of stash to knit up, or in this case...crochet up.  I should get busy.  Or busier. 

I'm making progress with cleaning. Catching up on over a year of cleaning isn't going to happen overnight so I've got a system where I don't necessarily tackle one room and clean it; I just clean bits up of several rooms and am making much more progress this way.  Plus we're tackling the basement as well.  I've gotten 6 big garbage bags out of there in the past two weeks.  You can't tell to look at it, but I know it's that much cleaner.  And I'm caught up on laundry as well.

We have a drip in the bathtub faucet when you shower so I've got a bucket under there that I have Zach take downstairs after each shower (I can't carry that much weight anymore) and put in the washer.  It takes a few trips before I have a washer full of water but it does save us some money.  Tom doesn't think it's worth it, but that kind of thinking is what has gotten us into trouble over the years.  I've done it as well, thinking that I can spend now and save later.  Or thinking that it's not worth the trouble to save money in one aspect, when it's all aspects that we can utilize frugality.  I'm getting there.

I've still got some windows to put plastic on but the new screen door is making a huge difference already.  I haven't turned the furnace on yet because we haven't needed to. Before, standing in the foyer, you could feel a steady breeze through the door.  Now, nothing.  No breeze at all.  I won't need to close off the foyer at all this winter.  I do have a curtain up that we can close for an arctic entry of sorts.  It's not completely closed off but it does help keep the initial breeze from flowing into the dining room once the door is open.

I moved my bed back up against that wall with the bookcase headboard in place again.  It just wasn't working as a living room the way I had it and with no place to prop up my pillows ( I have a hiatal hernia and have to sleep propped up a bit, plus with the congestive heart failure, sleeping flat affects my breathing) it's hard to get comfortable.  It was really hard to get in and out of the room as well, with the futon opened up, making a tiny entrance into the living room.  Now it's just a bedroom (which is what it was when the house was first built anyway) and more spacious.  Well, as spacious as a tiny room can be.  I'm getting used to it and sleeping pretty well still.

I have the guys' supper in the oven so I'm waiting until it's done and then off to bed to knit some more.  Today is socks.  I'm almost ready to turn the heel on the second sock.  And maybe I'll dig out some yarn and start a bag for shopping and/or library.  I've got some leftovers in the fridge to eat later.  Butternut squash & mushrooms.  It turned out pretty good for me just throwing things into the pan.  I'm losing weight again, finally.  Didn't lose a pound in the past 2 months.  I have no idea why I can't lose weight on 1000-1200 calories a day...and exercise.  I'm down to around 201 now...or just under that.  I'll be so glad when I can lose all this weight.  As long as I've carry this around, my heart is working that much harder and as it's already damaged, this is not good.  I am trying, not cheating at all.  It's just so frustrating.

Off to get supper out of the oven.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Another night without sleep

I'm having trouble with my computer so I'm not posting a lot.  Some days it takes up to an hour for the computer to resolve an unresponsive script.  It's frustrating but Zach can't find the problem...other than it's 10 years old and can't handle the enormous amount of crap out there in the internet.  Can't replace it yet so I'll just have to make do.

I'm going to the knit out at the library on Saturday although my social phobia is causing my stomach to twist in knots and kept me up all night with anxiety.  I've got to start pushing myself to get out more.  I'm planning on bringing my projects that I've done over the past year:  hats, scarves, baby sweaters, baby blankets and a couple of afghans.  They accept anything that will keep the community warm.  I've got until January to donate.  Now that I know where to put my donations I can be more specific about my knitting. 

I'll have to make do with the yarn I've already got because the overtime has dried up completely for Tom and with no pay raise this year, his pay is lot less than he was making as foreman.  I'm not sure we can make ends meet on his regular pay.  I'll have to start canceling things if it looks like the overtime is gone forever.  Zach has put in another round of applications but so far, even though all the places are hiring, he's heard nothing.  Without references he's limited to fast food.

This doesn't help the stress levels I'm supposed to keep at a minimum.  Seriously, I'm not supposed to get stressed out.  How the hell can I avoid that?  Especially with the hospital visit bill still not showing up yet? 

Well, got laundry to do today if I don't get anything else done.  And probably a nap and some knitting.  And working out a way to incorporate even more frugality into our lives.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Apparently I can be...

...arsed to rewind the backward self-striping skein of sock yarn after all.  It just didn't look good at all as a second sock so I frogged it and rewound it.  Only to find a knot fairly soon into the skein.  I just snipped it and kept winding.  I'll add the two together when I get there.  It won't cause too much discrepancy between the socks.  I hope.  I do hate knots though.

Zach is wanting to learn to crochet so tonight we're going to sit down and get started.  I'm thinking of doing some crochet myself.  A blanket of some kind, to use up the single skeins I have all over the house.  It would be nice to keep my stash down to manageable proportions.  It's not that I've bought all of this yarn.  A lot of those single skeins were given to me by well-meaning people who saw that I did a lot of charitable knitting and wanted to donate what they had stored for 30+ years.  And I can't say no apparently.  I'm thinking some blankets for the animal shelter since color wouldn't be so important there.

I got some plastic on my living room/bedroom window last night.  I'll get two more today.  It's hard work for me so I can't just do it all.  I don't plan on using the furnace yet anyway.  It's still not too bad in here if we dress warmly.  Around 58F right now and I'm getting ready to start a load of clothes so when they go in the dryer it will vent into the house (with an old piece of panty hose on the vent.)  Zach is going to tear out the tile in the foyer so we can put a rug down there this year.  I wasn't thinking too clearly when I had Tom put down some ceramic tiles there.  We can't put a rug down because there's no room and the tiles get so slick when you walk in with wet shoes from the snow, we've had near misses with falls and such.  Especially when carrying groceries in.

Had a bit of sunshine this morning but it's looking gloomy out there again today.  I haven't seen the extended forecast yet.  I hope it warms up a bit so we can mow again and get the weather stripping on the front door.  I thought we had more time for that.  Apparently not.

I'm still working on the sweater coat and the sock.  I've got a couple of baby blankets going that I should finish up.  One is in candy corn colors.  Just a garter stitch patchwork thing but it's pretty nice and soft.  Not sure where these baby blankets will go.  Maybe the food pantry or if I see a charity for donations of blankets for winter.  I'll keep looking.

Time to get up off and get something done though.  It's dark enough for lights in the house but I'm in my super tightwad mode right now so unless I need to read or knit, I'm not turning the lights on.  Off to do laundry.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Very unseasonable fall

I started another project.  This time a sweater coat based on an old leaflet I've had for at least 25 years.  Just a plain cardigan only longer.  My store-bought sweater coat is fast deteriorating and I need a new one.  I practically live in them during the winter.  I plan on digging out Zach's sweater to get back to work on and if I can't find the pattern, start over with another one.  I haven't gotten that far on it so it wouldn't be devastating if I had to.  Still working on socks, as always.  I'm discovering I'm not a huge fan of self-striping yarn after all.  One skein was wound completely backwards from the other one so the patterns are reversed.  I wasn't arsed enough to fix it by rewinding the skein though.

Zach wants to learn how to crochet.  I've had my crochet books and magazines out looking through them because of the massive stash I've got to use up so I have room to actually live in this tiny house and he got interested.  He knows the basics of knitting but it bores him so he thought crochet might interest him more.  His first project is a crochet bag for his hooks.  They're $10 at the store and no way am I paying that much for something he can crochet on his own.  I've got one I made years ago but I have twice as many hooks in it.  Way too many for it to hold.  He can have half my hooks easily and I'll still end up with too many.  I'm still looking for a project for me as well.  I was thinking of an afghan since I can use up a lot of single skeins of yarn.

It's cold now. Unseasonably cold.  I should turn the heat on but I don't have the plastic on the windows and I'm adverse to heating up the outside so I'm just wearing more clothes.  I need to dig out my fingerless mitts so I can knit with warm hands.  But it's not too bad in here.  Yet.  I think it will warm up again before we need to turn on the furnace.  I never keep it warm in here anyway.  I don't think we've had the furnace over 62 in a decade.  I prefer 60 actually, unless it's really wet outside, then I'll kick it up to around 62 or so.  And I love to sleep cold so we keep it around 50 or so at night.  Although I might keep it at 55 now that I have congestive heart failure.  I can't afford to get sick anymore.  Not with a tendency to accumulate fluids in my chest.

We got the storm windows on over the weekend so it is a lot warmer inside.  Once I get the plastic on the windows it will be even warmer. This year I'm putting plastic on the newer windows as well.  They showed some signs of air leakage last year.  Can't hurt.  Maybe $5 a year extra for that.

I'm going to finish up supper and then crawl into bed under my warm covers.  I don't have a blanket on the bed yet but I do have a throw on top of the comforter.  I got a new comforter on sale this summer.  It was $60, nice and heavy, for $26.  Always look in the clearance aisles before buying anything.  Back to being as frugal as I can since the overtime has dried up.  His pay without overtime is a lot less than his pay as a foreman so it's going to be a tight winter.  Just when I could focus on being frugal, after my cardiac rehab was over, the overtime went away so I never had a chance to get ahead.  Now it's going to be a struggle just to stay where we are. 

Baked spaghetti is a pretty economical meal for the guys.  Don't know what I'll have but it will be healthy and not enough to eat.  I haven't lost a pound in a month even eating under 1500 calories as a rule.  Sometimes less but never over.  Sigh.